Sri Lankan politician calls for closure of VOA relay station.

Posted: 29 Mar 2012   Print   Send a link
AFP, 24 Mar 2012: "Sri Lanka Friday rejected a UN resolution urging it to seek external help in probing alleged war crimes committed during an onslaught against the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels nearly three years ago. Acting Foreign Minister Dew Gunasekera told parliament that Sri Lanka will resist outside help to investigate violations of humanitarian law, a key demand in the US-initiated Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva Thursday. ... Elsewhere, there were signs of anger in the local press and in comments from public officials following weeks of anti-US and pro-government demonstrations in the capital. Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa called for the shutting down of a Voice of America (VOA) transmitting station in the island's north-western coast. 'We must shut down the VOA station,' Weerawansa, a hard-liner in the cabinet, told a rally in the central town of Kandy, according to a copy of his speech released by his office. 'VOA get out of Sri Lanka. They use this station for intelligence gathering,' he added. The Voice of America, a US government-funded broadcaster, expanded their operations in Sri Lanka with the commissioning of a re-broadcasting facility at Iranawila in 1999.", 24 Mar 2012: "'I demand that we shut down the Voice of America (VOA) station if the US continued in their action to harass us with hostile acts,' said Minister of Construction Wimal Weerawansa,who is also the leader of National Freedom Front, a constituent party of the ruling coalition."

A shortwave relay station, saturated with radio frequency energy, would be a poor location for "intelligence gathering." The IBB relay station at Iranawila, Sri Lanka, is used for VOA, RFA, and RFE/RL transmissions to South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Daily News (Colombo), 29 Mar 2012: "The Listeners Association of China Radio International in Sri Lanka has thanked China for supporting Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva and said China's stand is highly appreciated by the grateful people of Sri Lanka."